The sun sets earlier during the autumn and winter months, and lighting your property is essential to help with visibility in and around commercial units, car parks, residential care homes, returning home after work or children returning from school.
It’s reassuring to know that when you are in a dark open space approaching or leaving a property a light offers visibility, it helps you feel safer when you can see your surroundings, pathways and dark corners.
What are the best outdoor lights for your property?
When looking for a light to install on a property you need to decide if it’s a light for security to improve visibility, plus location, where are you going to place the light; what is its purpose?
- A light with a motion sensor is triggered when movement is detected, a PIR or a microwave sensor light is the best solution.
- A residential porch light is usually a light that is left on and functions with a manual on/off switch (typically wired) to switch off when locking up at night.
- A narrow long access path suits smaller light units that can help with visibility.
With these examples in mind an LED light ticks all the boxes as the best option for energy efficiency, robustness, longevity, better light performance and benefits from very low energy consumption.
Halogen lights are no longer permitted in the UK but when looking at the equivalent usage it is not surprising to see why LEDs have superseded old and inefficient lighting. Halogen lights emit 80% heat and only 20% light. Whereas it is the opposite for LED lights generating about 20% heat and 80% light. On top of this LEDs produce very little waste (thermal radiation).
What does this mean for my property & energy consumption?
The equivalent LED 800 lumen emittance for a 60W halogen is 8W, when using a lower watt light this, of course, means you are using less energy and therefore lower energy bill costs.
Tip: If replacing a halogen light opt for a 3000K LED will give you a similar colour appearance if you are wishing to replicate the light.
Know the lights you need but not sure what to buy?
Outdoor LED lighting for large open areas requires further consideration, such as:
- What is the area m² of light coverage?
- How many lumens does the light need to provide?
- Does the light need to consider other nearby buildings?
- Will it need to operate on a manual switch?
- Does it need to remain on all night?
First, calculate the number of lights to be installed per m² in accordance with the number of lumens and proximity to other buildings.
Second, choose a light that will be resistant to all weather conditions and has a good weatherproof rating any unit above IP65 will be suitable.
Third, if the light is to be placed in an area where it might get knocked choose a polycarbonate IK10-rated unit.
Fourth, select the correct function for your light, such as manual or sensor light. A PIR system operates on movement, such as; a vehicle, a tree blowing in the wind or a passer-by. Whereas a microwave sensor light will only trigger if the light senses thermal movement.
Tip: Using a motion sensor light will also help to reduce your energy consumption / energy costs as the light will only operate when triggered.
Alleycat & Mini-Max
Outdoor LED lights for your property
Smooth external edges give a modern sleek finish to our Alleycat and Mini-Max these bulkheads. Built with an integrated energy-efficient LED gear tray and sealed to protect against water and dust. Screwed-down polycarbonate diffusers to the base for extra strength and security.
- Robust IK10-rated units
- IP65 PU-foam gasket
- Retained diffuser screws
- Security screws available
- Opal or clear polycarbonate diffuser
- Black or white base
- Alleycat is manufactured from aluminium
- Mini-Max is manufactured from Polycarbonate
Do outside security lights deter burglars?
Outdoor lighting can be an effective tool to deter any prospective break-in to a property. As well as a great safety feature for any commercial or residential building.
Placing lighting in large areas when walking to and from car parks around commercial buildings, hospitals, schools and university campus makes people feel safer. Lighting up alleyways and pathways at night gives people confidence that they will be able to see any obstacles or any potential threats.
Top 5 burglar deterrents
A Which survey (Nov 2022) asked what puts burglars off. The top five things were:
- 71% having a burglar alarm system
- 71% having a dog in the home
- 52% people in the property
- 46% CCTV
- 21% outdoor/sensor lights
Although lighting might be considered a lower prevention tool for burglars at 21% it can be installed relatively quickly. One surprising tip from Which was to set a timer to turn any lights off 5 minutes after turning the radio/tv off. Syncing your timer to turn devices off is an interesting measure but might be a notable one if looking to secure your home while you are away on holiday.
Do you need an electrician to install your lights?
Homeowner: You’ve decided a light needs to be placed on a porch or on an outside building and will need to operate on a manual switch and microwave sensor. Although you might be a very enthusiastic DIY expert installing security lights that require wiring is best left to a professional.
Handling the removal of old lights and rewiring them requires a competent professional that has the right tools and experience for the job.